Those who know me well know that I often avoid conversations about religion and know that my life and the choices I make should not be used as anyone’s moral compass. Despite these facts I am drawn to talk of both today. Brace yourself.
Today is Ash Wednesday. To be honest the first time I received ashes was in 2006 even though I have been a Catholic my whole life. My relationship with the church is one that I would categorizes as on again, off again my whole life so please do not think that I am getting on an “I am more devout” then you rant. Ash Wednesday marks the being of Lent and the preparation for Easter, and to be honest my face book news feed marks it as well.
This morning I was flooded with people sharing what they are giving up for Lent. The running list is looking a little like sweets, soda, caffeine, coffee, meat, fast food, extra flavor in my star bucks coffee….and on and on. So, when did Lent become a new diet trend? How much of a sacrifice is it really in these? I try not to judge and don’t claim to have not done similar things in years past, but come on!
I challenge everyone to think outside the box. Don’t simply give something up, but try to add. Give. Help. Inspire.
The past two years I have given during Lent. I have offered to watch friends’ kids to give them time away. Opened extra doors, let people get in line in front of me, prayed each night. Yes I know these are little things but they seem to embody the spirit of the season more than starting a diet.
This year the girls will have a Lent box where each day we will pull out a piece of paper with something for them to do – call a grandparent, color picture for a friend, give hugs… and for me this year I start a letter campaign to one person each day. Not sure who I will pick, or what I will write them but I will take time each day to touch someone else.
So, leave the diets for Jan 1st where they belong and think about giving in the spirit on the season this year.